Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Proof that the Hollywood (My Villawood) isn't like the rest of the World
American Splendor.
Hollywood vision of America is of a gung-ho, can-do nation. It doesn't include ordinary people like Harvey Pekar, a self-confessed grouch who disagrees with the dominant culture and spends his mundane life resisting it ...

· Harvey Pekar (Pekar, like my grandfather's surname Pekarcik) means baker in Slavic language) [Sunday @ Nine]

Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened.
-Elie Wiesel

Q: Who is your favourite author or has influenced your writing?
My Answer: A former Australian Ambassador in Vienna, James William Cumes, has written a book Haverleigh. One day soon this story about WWII and Kokoda Trail will become an epic like ‘A Fortunate Life’ by Facey. I am still amazed that it was an Australian writer, Thomas Kennealy, rather than some European writers who weaved a testing tale about the Czechoslovak, part saint and part sinner, Schindler.

Sunday Rereading
As far back as I can remember I have felt James Cumes' Haverleigh had the soul and guts and truth of a classic of Australian Literature. Haverleigh is a lot of things. It's a love story, a war story, the story of an improbable and impossible era peopled with all too probable, all too possible, all too real human beings. It's fraught with pain and love and irony and affection and disaffection. You will be different for having immersed yourself in it.

Reareading Review of "Haverleigh"

What was also enjoyable about so much of the book was how familiar it all seemed. The author has captured so much of the Australia we all know, an enormous amount in fact: the Aussie battler who makes good and develops an empire but who doesn't forget his mates and his beginnings, our love of travel, life in the crucible of a small country town, immigrants from far and wide who make a successful new life for themselves, the politics surrounding the Vietnam War, Australians' ability to swear, the change in the standard of living in Australia between the 1930's and the 80's, the ups and downs in the economy and how we rode the stock market, and a dozen different relationships that all have a certain familiar ring to them either because we've been there ourselves or we know someone who has or we've seen it on TV or at the movies!
Haverleigh is a great read for a weekend at home. It could easily
be the script for a mini series and who knows, maybe one day it will be just that!
Review by Bronwyn Mitterecker
From Bookworm, in The Australian Connection September 2003
· Hot Off the Press: To Have or Not to Have [James Cumes, born and bred @ Beenleigh ]

How Papers are Trying to Save Sunday

More people read newspapers on Sundays than any other day of the week. That's the good news.
The bad news is that each year an increasing smaller percentage of the population thinks the big Sunday bundle is worth the bother.
Here are some highlights from the E&P story, an overview that doesn't address why readers are giving up on Sunday and what, if anything, is working to retain them.
· Readership "editors are shaking up content; the right mix for the modern, time-challenged reader -- eliminating some features, and tweaking or dramatically revising others

[Editor & Publisher via TimPorter]

Sunday Watching
I love reading, as I was born and bred to absorb signs and symbols, so my Saturday is consumed by indulging for hours and hours inside pages of great reporting; especially the The Sydney Morning Herald which I suspect had been created to throw light on darkish subjects. The Herald is an amazing maze salted and peppered with easily digesteded first drafts dealing with many truths of our fragile life on earth. Toss in book reviews, impressions of new released movies and all those incomprehensible cutural and political trends and world is my tropical oyster. However, on Sunday within an hour I seem to complete badly composed newspapers; I generally add to the Saturday Herald and Saturday Australian (a.k.a. Sunday Telegraph) another newspaper Sunday Mail (in order to read shortish, but amusing Jim Soorley's column).
Generally, but especially when my family is enjoying a weekend in Sydney, my Sunday read takes place between sipping coffee, admiring the panoramic views of Moroton Island and those ad breaks of the Channel 9 Sunday Program. (See link under Nota Bene left and click on Jana Wendt)

· The Asylum Game [Jana; The Great Sunday]

Sunday of Revisiting Engaging Land of Haverleigh

Saturday, August 30, 2003

God chose me to write this book, writes satirist Al Franken in Lies and the Lying Liars. This isn't hubris. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time.

Many, Many, Rejections are the Right Vessels

There are more rejection letters now than at any time in literary history. There are more manuscripts than ever - most publishers receive at least 100 a week - and more people to reject them. These days authors can expect rejections not only from publishers but also from the agents who themselves must wait for the work they're representing to be rejected.
Today, it is hard to imagine literature without the work of Primo Levi; but immediately after the war If This Is a Man was an extraordinary challenge to publishers. Nobody wanted to read about the Holocaust, perhaps because of horror mixed with a lingering anti-Semitism, and publishers knew it. One took the risk - a small house called De Silva - and printed 2,500 copies, of which they sold half. De Silva folded shortly afterwards, and only in 1958, after a handful of further rejections, did Einaudi take the book on. The plight of Anne Frank's diary was similar: it was turned down some 11 times before going into print.

· I have been constantly reminded that omnipotent God is a large publisher [Telegraph(UK) ]

Quotation Marked:
Words to remember

God chose me to write this book," writes satirist Al Franken in "Lies and the Lying Liars." "This isn't hubris. I just happened to be the right vessel at the right time."

From across the Web Fashion Covers the Media Beat

Women who work in media are "stylish and fashionable -- a very trend-setting group.
It’s also known that media jobs don’t pay the most, so these fashions are stylish yet affordable..
· Media chic [FoxNews.com]
· Why I got into journalism: Because of all the women [Boston ]

Kevin Roderick is not your typical blogger. He is neither an ideologue nor an egomaniac. He's not noticeably partisan or terribly passionate. He doesn't have an agenda on his mind or a chip on his shoulder.
· A dispassionate blogger keeps his eye on L.A. [LATimes ]

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen line

Potty Press: Regaining the respect

Sacramento Bee, writes about a Bee sportswriter who was fired for reporting on a San Francisco Giants game he never attended and using quotes made to other reporters.
Another Bee reporter, unnamed, is being investigated by the paper for "lifting information verbatim from a press release.
· Shocked and dismayed? Czech out the Practices of the NSW (Ministerial) Parliamentary Press Gallery(smile) [Tim Porter]
· Of course I take bribes. I'm a journalist [LATimes ]
· Muse [ viaTimPorter]

Bloggers Train Sites on State Governments

is an article which highlights several blogs that are published via newspapers in Washington state, Texas and California.
· Bloggers [GovTech ]

Thursday, August 28, 2003

August Burden: Wayne Wood

People are made to feel sorry when they should feel uplifted by the efforts of the patient in overcoming adversity.
· A lyrical intuition of the mysteries of the soul [Troppoarmadillo]


Hewlett Packard researchers continue to develop e-reader prototypes. The BBC covers a new one that has touch sensitive controls, is only one centimeter thick, and can hold a whole library.
· Library of Saving Trees [Microsoft Paging Cold River]

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Media The BBC led the launch of radio in 1922 and television in 1936

It seems every generation has a media revolution. For my mother, it was radio; for me it was television; for my children, it is digital.
Each revolution is different, and we are still learning about how digital can make a real difference to people's lives.
Today I want to look at the future of the BBC in the context of what we already know about how the digital revolution is unfolding.

· Unfolding [DigitalSpy]

Capital Imperialist
The BBC has been alarmed by the increasingly close relationship between the Government and Mr Murdoch's British newspapers, at a time when the BBC's relationship with New Labour is strained as never before. The frostiness of the relationship has raised speculation that the Government will consider abolishing the licence fee in its forthcoming review of the BBC's charter.
· Power of One [Independent ]

Modern Day Muckrakers

The very first Independent Media Center (IMC) sprang to life in Seattle, during the fall of 1999. In November, the World Trade Organization and hundreds of international delegates were preparing to come to the city. At the same time, young activists -- galvanized by years of anti-globalization work -- were asking themselves how they could impact the meeting and get the word out about protest marches and rallies. Part of the answer was to create an alternative news source that would cover the demonstrations and the issues behind them.
· Independent Media Center [ ]
· Monitorial cyber-citizens? [Ken Parish ]
· Bloggers as public intellectuals [Tim Dunlop ]
· Bloggers as examiners of unexamined private and public life [Tim Dunlop: Analysis]

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, Please don't steal this.

Nobody with a Mac has had to lose a moment of sleep over these outbreaks ...Reason #77 why bloggers like me use a Mac.

Blogging on

When Natalie Buxton moved to Melbourne from Perth a couple of years ago, she turned to the Internet to meet new people. She started with a Melbourne-specific online chat group, but after going to one of their in-person gatherings, she realised there were a lot of people in Melbourne writing online journals. She found 50 members of a service called LiveJournal in that group alone.
· Virtual Reading [Age ]

Monday, August 25, 2003

Adding Czechloggers Not Much Nazory/Opinions: Sacrifices

Through great sacrifice and hard work, Czechs consumed a whopping 326 pints of beer for every man, woman and child in the country.
· Nazory: Czech/English [Bloguje ]
· Not Much [NicMoc ]
· Czech and Slovak Literature Resources [compiled by Professor James Naughton, of Oxford University]

American Discover Land of Oz Another Aussie drunk driver sues

Francine Parrington lost her arm when she crashed into a tree while driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.118 but says it wasn't her fault and is suing the hotel for serving her too many drinks. ... She crashed into exactly the same tree a year before and claims her drinking habits were caused by her marital difficulties with a straying husband.
· Facing Oz Demons [Overlawyer ]
· Deliver us from guilt [Australian ]

Visiting the Lascaux caves, Pablo Picasso remarked that we have discovered nothing new in art in 17,000 years. Maybe he was right...

Fear of the new century: no email

Loss of email would be more traumatic than a car accident or getting a divorce, according to more than a third of respondents to an international survey.
· Amazing, but True [SMH ]
· Internet was becoming a key communication tool for the elderly [BBC]

Despite Smallness Double Bestsellers

Readers have been quick to applaud the inclusion on the Booker longlist of titles from numerous small publishers. As a Bookseller opinion notes, Small here means very small: Arcadia, Tindal Street and Flambard are each run by two people. But those same publishers are finding it increasingly hard to have their books well represented in the country's major chain stores, and this column says they face the same problem in getting reviewers' attention. The biggest new titles get blanket coverage, as editors scramble to sign up big name reviewers; swathes of less visible titles are lost. So when the same newspapers came to report the longlist, a lack of archive information on the small press books meant they merited barely a mention.
· Look at the top five especially. Go Dragons! [PalmDigital ]

Sunday, August 24, 2003

An Arts Town Success Story

Not so long ago, the city of Somerville, Mass. was dilapidated, a place where artists got harassed; they certainly didn’t hold court at major intersections or thrash about in the street like dying fish. Over the past 20 years or so, the stigma of living in Somerville has been reduced, if not completely removed. Whatever the general explanation, most folks credit local artists — and, on a larger scale, the visible integration of art into the community by the Somerville Arts Council (SAC) — for helping to revitalize the city and improve its residents’ quality of life.
· The SAC is much more than a funnel for state grants [Boston Phoenix 08/21/03]

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Artistic Joint (media release)

Ministers announced changes to the refundable Tax Offset for large scale FILMS.
The changes will be made to the Refundable Tax Offset to encourage more large-scale film productions to shoot in Australia, creating jobs and opportunities in the creative industries.
Currently film producers routinely seek provisional 10BA film certification as the first stage in raising funds for a film concept without knowing whether or not a foreign studio will fund the project. But this certification currently causes films to be ineligible for the film tax offset regardless of whether or not investors have accessed 10BA benefits." The film producer will need to satisfy the Minister for the Arts and Sport that no 10BA benefits have been claimed by investors and that no finance has been provided by the Film Finance Corporation Australia.

· The Film Tax Offset [Revenue and Assistant Treasurer 15 August 2003]

Only The Lonely Know The Way I Feel Tonight A dyslexic Alpha Male walks into a bra

How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons" series, so here are all the links so far. I figure no book exists that will ever explain the wonderful, crazy, sexy, charming, powerful, mysterious thing known as a man.
· What SNAGS Want!!! (Scary Stuff:: Read @ Your Own Peril) [HalleysComment ]
· Imrich and Fantastic in bed!!! (As Seen on Ka!! Video Network) [HalleysComment]

Friday, August 22, 2003

Up Close and Personal

The Unexamined Life Is Like Totally Not Worth Living: Up Close and Personal
MD's Note: The following is the text of screenwriter/director Frank Pierson's commencement address to the 2003 USC film school graduating class.
We have to remind ourselves that this viewer is only another aspect of ourselves, that we have also in us-as he does-a better part, that needs to be cultivated and to express itself. There is no single audience with a single personality. There is the larger audience-currently under-served-that has vast variety of appetites that we can, we must, satisfy.
Liberal critics have raised the alarm over corporate censorship, the exclusion from theaters and TV of anything except what seems marketable and the eliminations of anything that might offend somebody anywhere. But the danger of censorship in America is less from business or the religious right or the self righteous left, than to self-censorship by artists themselves, who simply give up. If we can't see a way to get our story told, what is the point of trying? I wonder how many fine, inspiring ideas in every walk of life are strangled in the womb of the imagination because there's no way past the gates of commerce?
You are now our future, and this is the challenge you face. It is a bigger challenge than it seems because you cannot recapture something you never knew. It is your gargantuan task to create this spirit out of thin air, in the face of resistance and lack of interest, in your own style and out of your own imagination. Something new and as yet unknown.

· To reach and touch the angel in the beast [Alternet ]

Blogging for Research

Liz Donovan, writing about news researchers and blogging in News Library News: "This is something that librarians are born to do." With some other, less pithy quotes from yours truly and a cast of lib-blog worthies like Gary Price
· Lib Blogs [Dual Loyalty]

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

serious social problems Hollywood Needs to Look to Social Workers for Heroes

The show was called East Side, West Side. It premiered Sept. 23, 1963, and made its last broadcast on Sept. 14, 1964. Thus did one of the most brilliant, well-written and superbly acted television series come to an end after one glorious, albeit Nielsen-ratings-starved, year. In 1963, as in 2003, television executives didn't want shows that were good.
· They wanted shows that got ratings [Common Dreams]

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Kafka Sacred, absolute, incorruptible

Within a few months, having avoided Hitler's and Stalin's jails, she found herself interned on the Isle of Man.
· Lovers [Telegraph(UK) ]

'We may not be able to judge a book by its cover,' says Nicholson McBride's Stephanie Wyman, 'but a quick glance will tell you all you need to know about the reader. For instance, a girl reading Bridget Jones's Diary has "I'm single" written all over her.'

Once Upon a Blog

A long time ago, in the hazy middle years of the decade nineteen-hundred-and-ninety, between the darkest reaches of dial-up and the Ethernet, a creature was born. It was not of this earth but, rather, the first-born child of the Internet. Its name was ... blog.
· Time [ PBS]
· We're all geeks now [Boston ]
· Blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial [Economist ]

The Copy Editor's Lament

By George Martin
I was sitting on the copydesk
just watching o'er the scene
when the dealer sent a juicy
story over to my screen.
It had power, sex and politics and violence - it was great;
and the headline on the dummy said:
- 6 column 48.

So I rearranged the commas
and I tidied up the lede
and I patched up all the typos
and gave it one more read.
I typed in all the coding
and prepared to write the hed
when a voice came from the news desk,
and this is what it said:

"Pass me back that dummy, please,
I have to change the page.
Composing found a missing ad,
the foreman's in a rage.
If they find the guy that lost it,
they'll be skinning him alive.
And that headline that you're working on ...
- make that a five."

Four columns? Well, that's tougher
but a deskman does his best
to keep the story's gist intact
and leave out all the rest.
I thought a little while,
and then my hands did fly
But just before the head was writ,
I heard the news desk cry:

"Pass me back that dummy please,
I have to make a fix.
It really needs a graphic
or the editor will bitch.
They'll make it on the Macintosh
and ship it here to me.
And that headline you are writing ...
- make that a three."

Now a head that's just three columns
forces choices quite absurd
do you write it as a label
or just use only verbs?
I struggled and I puzzled
and at last I did compose.
When over at the news desk
a voice once more arose:

"Pass me back that dummy, please,
I have to make a change.
How I forgot the sidebar,
is really very strange.
A page without a sidebar,
would make the reader blue.
And that headline you are writing ...
- make that a two."

Now a head that's just two columns
is a challenge and a strain;
they often make no sense at all,
to write them is a pain.
I finally got a concept
but before I put it down
I looked up from my VDT
and saw the news desk frown.

"Pass me back that dummy, please
there's one more thing to do.
We have to have a locator map;
the reader needs a clue
to where this all is coming down
and where it's being done.
And that headline you are writing ...
- make that a one.

Sometimes a copy editor
is like a cornered rat,
hemmed in and surrounded,
his hopes collapsed and flat.
There's no way out, all one can do
is fight with tooth and claw.
This time 'twas so, and so I wrote:


Sunday, August 17, 2003

Once Upon a Blog

A long time ago, in the hazy middle years of the decade nineteen-hundred-and-ninety, between the darkest reaches of dial-up and the Ethernet, a creature was born. It was not of this earth but, rather, the first-born child of the Internet. Its name was ... blog.
· Time [ PBS]

Reed Elsevier, the unsung star of the internet revolution

Elsevier is the internet star you never see feted as a leading light of the internet revolution. It is not mentioned alongside the like of Amazon, eBay and AOL. Yet last year, Reed's internet revenues topped £1bn, out of total revenues of £2.6bn.
· Media rivals [Independent]

The falling digital drops at last will wear the stone by Cold River.
--Lucretius misquoted

Paging Double Dragons Hello Kind Reader,

Somewhere in the near future, you will read a book that hasn't been produced in the way books are normally produced - i.e. printed on paper and bound. Digital books or ebooks exist in cyberspace as bits and bytes, but they're no less "books" for being represented by small electric currents. Many literary masterpieces can be read online and are accessible from myriad sources, some free and some for a fee.
Sexed up, extensive Australian site, Project Gutenberg of Australia, offers 250 free ebooks, including works by Australian authors and titles which are associated with Australia (although not necessarily written by an Australian).

· Godfather of the book: Guten (Betterberg) read [SMH]
· Welcome ArmadilloCon and Double Dragon Publishing Visitors! [eWise]
· Three men with courage to escape make a majority [eEscape]

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Facing my conflict of interest, I am part of the Dragon Scout cookies of literary publishing...

Publishing Dragons Palm Readers

DDP titles come with a discount for Palm Digital Media subscribers.
Have you had a reading stories with a Double Dragon ebook? Send us your story and if we use in our newsletter, Dragon Tails, we'll email you a surprise!
Send your story to the editor at :
LovingVein@aol.com with 'DDP Adventure' in the subject heading.

· Full catalog of DDP ebooks at Palm Digital [PalmDigital ]

PS:: Subscribe to Dragon Tails:
· http://double-dragon-ebooks.com
Click "Subscribe" on the top right of the menu bar.


During the Vietnam War, I witnessed the meteoric rise and subsequent unprecedented fall of a democracy movement, a grassroots movement led by the Buddhist monks of Vietnam. Because my signal unit provided communication for CIA, AID, State Department and NSC folks, we signal troopers heard things discussed that did not track with the official news being reported in the press and through official communiqus. This discordance caused misgivings among many of us. These concerns never disappeared in my case. Over the years, as I stumbled upon more and more oh-by-the-way corrections of misinformation, I began to consider the need for this novel.

DIVERTING THE BUDDHA examines the impact that the politically well connected have on our world. It is a large canvas novel that picks up were THE QUIET AMERICAN left off.
· The Loudest Dragon [DDPvDPP]
We're the Dragon Scout cookies of the literary world

For those who may not have seen it yet, BookCrossing is featured on page 22 of the August issue of the Reader's Digest

Releasing Books Into The Wild River of Readers The problem With Publishing Today – Is Me

Bookcrossing has hit Manchester. On Saturday, hundreds of books will be released on to the streets of the city. Being a virtual writer makes as much sense as escaping communism across the Cold War River. There’s something wonderful, something perversely subversive about being disconnected from the world of goods and services and Kerry Packer, if only for an hour or two every now and again. It’s freedom. Blogging is an uncharted wilderness like the tropical pub by the Brisbane River or hotel of Quest On Story Bridge Kangaroo Point stature.
· Rivercrossing Scores @ Bookcrossing,com- But Can It Keep Its Soul? [The Guardian (UK) 08/14/03]
· It took over 50 years to finish his book [TRFTimes ]

More Of Our Own...

We all pay lip service to the idea of diversity - of ideas, of people. But David Brooks writes that most people want to stick to their own. "Maybe somewhere in this country there is a truly diverse neighborhood in which a black Pentecostal minister lives next to a white anti-globalization activist, who lives next to an Asian short-order cook, who lives next to a professional golfer, who lives next to a postmodern-literature professor and a cardiovascular surgeon. But I have never been to or heard of that neighborhood. Instead, what I have seen all around the country is people making strenuous efforts to group themselves with people who are basically like themselves.
· We all pay lip service to the melting pot, but we really prefer the congealing pot [The Atlantic 09/03]

Can the arts spur bush revival?

Rural Australia needs an influx of investment in culture. Cultural policy can easily smack of Big Brother (the political concept, not the TV show), but there are valid reasons why we need to keep culture high on the national agenda. It has nothing to do with opening nights, and everything to do with what Australia needs for a sustainable future. In 2000, the economic value of arts and related industries was about $8 billion. For indigenous Australians, the arts are their single biggest source of non-government income. The arts can provide jobs through flow-on effects such as tourism, but like any other investment, the money tends to gather where the people are.
· Creative Farms [The Australian 08/14/03]

Can the arts spur bush revival?

Can the arts spur bush revival?

Rural Australia needs an influx of investment in culture. Cultural policy can easily smack of Big Brother (the political concept, not the TV show), but there are valid reasons why we need to keep culture high on the national agenda. It has nothing to do with opening nights, and everything to do with what Australia needs for a sustainable future. In 2000, the economic value of arts and related industries was about $8 billion. For indigenous Australians, the arts are their single biggest source of non-government income. The arts can provide jobs through flow-on effects such as tourism, but like any other investment, the money tends to gather where the people are.
· Creative Farms [The Australian 08/14/03]

Writers' block

Playwrights are all but invisible in London's West End. Now it takes celebrities to sell anything.
· The author is dead in the West End. Particularly, as it were, the living author [The Guardian (UK) 08/14/03 ]

Friday, August 15, 2003

The Beeb's Dashing New Stylebook

Without a doubt, one of the greatest things about the Internet is the fact that so many wonderful things are available for free. Even though I use the Net every day, I still marvel at how lucky we are to receive so many great things online. The newest treasure available on the Web is the BBC News Styleguide
· a superb collection of rules and how to break them in great style [ BBC]
· No More BroadWriter Block [Mervin Block]

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Internet Blah Blah Blog

The most telling sign that the Internet is no longer the cool American frontier? Blogs have been overrun by the establishment. By MAUREEN DOWD
· Troubling signs [NYTimes via Spiegel ]
Note that The New York Times requires registration, but Spirgel lets you to read without it(smile)

Newsflash:: One Great year of the Literary Saloon

Cavalier use of sources

Oh, right: one last thing: Natasha’s Dance didn't win the Samuel Johnson.
· Sexton's article [ CompleteReview]
· Work-in-Progress [Saloon: Mr Michael Orthofer, Managing Editor]

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Reporters need to really grill Schwarzenegger

California political reporters have been "very, very lazy" in recent years, but now they're ready to pounce on Arnold Schwarzenegger. "They did not cover the budget disaster last year," she says. "If you look at the coverage, you cannot find any real in-depth coverage. They have a guilt complex about what's going on, and they are going to do a big pile-on on Schwarzenegger, because he is the front-runner. ...I predict a lot of bias and a serious attack on everything -- every little bobble that he does they are going to go after it big time."
· Guilt complex [CNN ]

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelations, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry with him. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart!
· Garden [NewYorker ]

Everybody Has A Story Everybody Has A Story

Rhil Rosenthal likes the way CBS News features reporter Steve Hartman makes you laugh, cry or just reflect on your life. The critic writes: Hartman's work, like that of CBS stablemate Bill Geist, recalls an era when wordsmiths such as Hughes Rudd would weave gold out of straw through a keen eye, a good ear and many, many rewrites.
· Everybody Has A Story [Suntimes viaPoynter]

Truth is ugly

Nietzsche said it: 'We possess art lest we perish of the truth.' The only virtue left in this day and age is courage before the hopeless. The only art is one whose symbols will catch the fundamental truth of life, its tragedy. Primitive art is magical because it is shaped by terror.'
· Ironically, Seek My Beauty [SMH ]

Worse Than Satan? De Moraes writes like a "wicked bitch," so let her do gossip

Jack Shafer likes the way Washington Post TV reporter Lisa de Moraes heaves spitballs at her subjects: You'd have to page through back issues of Spy magazine to find writing that is so consistently cruel, abrasive, and spot-on. SHAFER'S SUGGESTION: Let de Moraes pen the Post's gossip column. The prolific reporter comes with an established following, he notes, and she writes like a wicked bitch.
· Spot-on [Slate]
· We must practice for the toughest of assignments [Poynter]
· Pointers [The anatomy of agenda]

Internet US politicians blog for votes
· Fisking [ Journalism]

· Blogging [HinduTimes]

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Dictators There are no prisoners of war; there are traitors

Where the fathers calculatingly use rape, torture, and murder to tighten their grip on power, the sons throw bratty temper tantrums. Odai Hussein was especially prone to flying off the handle. Upon learning that a servant had helped Saddam's liaison with a mistress, Odai shot the underling dead in front of foreign dignitaries. The son of Liberian strongman Charles Taylor, Chucky, reportedly flogged his chauffeur to death after the driver accidentally hit a dog and scratched his car. Nicu Ceausescu tried to self-exculpate by claiming that he ordered violent crackdowns only when drunk.
· Dictators' sons are often done in by their lifestyles [Slate]
· Deposed Dictators Live Out Years In Comfortable Exile, With Few Regrets [Prague Radio]


It is rare to find the latest Latvian, Chilean or Vietnamese novels made into English. As the translation of foreign novels withers into decorative star-gazing or random exoticism, a translator of Franz Kafka and Joseph Roth registers the intimate bond between a healthy writing culture and the enlarging experience of literary otherness. What happens when it is lost?
· English [Open Democracy]

Howard Dean's Blog Builds Support Despite a Lack of Personal Input

The former Vermont governor has a slick and informative Weblog, but if you hope to glean some insight about the man, you might be better off shaking hands with him in person.
I think the blog helps the campaign by providing a stream of new and fresh and original ideas. Not all of the ideas are good, but every great idea rewards the reading of a thousand bad ones.
· Battles Ideas [ OJR]
· The Pied Piper of Blogging [E&P ]

Real reporting with no strings attached

Raven and a handful of others are at the vanguard of a new breed of journalism: personal broadcasting. Using equipment that is now relatively inexpensive and simple to use, these video pioneers are claiming a stake in territory that was once the exclusive province of big media.
· For aspiring raconteurs: personal broadcasting [OJR ]
· Google spreads into news alerts [News ]

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Passion Writer's life becomes bad novel

If it's an idyllic relationship in this marriage, why is he e-mailing. A computer expert testified about how e-mail and deleted files were retrieved from Peterson's computer.
Like It says in my song 'Oh My God' we don't give a thoughtline who they're screwing in private, we wanna know who they're screwing in public...

· Oh My God [NWSource ]
· Double Agent [Age]

I don't have the heart to reject that Everybody Has A Story Everybody Has A Story

Rhil Rosenthal likes the way CBS News features reporter Steve Hartman makes you laugh, cry or just reflect on your life. The critic writes: Hartman's work, like that of CBS stablemate Bill Geist, recalls an era when wordsmiths such as Hughes Rudd would weave gold out of straw through a keen eye, a good ear and many, many rewrites.
· With the throw of a dart, Hartman is off to prove that Everybody Has A Story [Suntimes viaPoynter]
· Double Agent [Age]

Rushdie Step Across This Line

It is no surprise that Rushdie's intellectual inquiries have so often centered around the notions of borders and boundaries; transgressions and journeys; the crossing of frontiers, and the struggle to come to grips with that often elusive idea: home.
The imperative title is an entreaty to the reader: “Free societies are societies in motion,” Rushdie writes, “and with motion comes friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom's existence.” Free people cross boundaries; they step across lines.
Sadly, that is not always as easy as it ought to be. (Rushdie was not permitted to set foot back in India, which banned Verses even before its public release in that country, until 2000.)
In April 1993, after the publication of a Times of London op-ed suggesting “that fully two-thirds of Tory MP's [Members of Parliament] would be delighted if Iranian assassins succeeded in killing [Rushdie],” a desperately frustrated Rushdie wrote: “Either we are serious about defending freedom, or we are not. ... If these MP's truly represent the nation—if we are so shruggingly unconcerned about our liberties—then so be it: lift the protection, disclose my whereabouts, and let the bullets come. One way or the other. Let's make up our minds.” He notes the difference between borders designed to keep people in (e.g., the Soviet Union), and those designed to keep others out (e.g., parts of the United States). During the Plague Years, Rushdie felt the sting of both.

· As a taut wire cuts through cheese [ YaleReview]

media & the net: eMail eWorld

The line between journalism and personal publishing is a blurry one, thanks to new ubiquitous tools that make it possible for anyone to publish and report texts.
A whole generation has a new way of speaking from technology.
Traditional greetings like hello & goodbye are being replaced by the language of e-mail and text messaging: G'day, Hasta la vista!

· "Mate" is the number one choice... [BBC Smartmobs]
· Are you a Web addict? [CNN::Klinik]
· Smart mob storms London [BBC]
· e-mail & eBook shrinks the world [BBC ]

Friday, August 08, 2003

This is the kind of exposure all publishers and writers dream of ... A great stroke of luck.
--eBook born out of 22 year old silence

Paperless Book Crossing the same river twice: Liberating eBooks

As writers (and likely as perfectionists of our own work), how do we decide when a piece is finally finished and ready for publication? Having my first daughter born exactly 9 months after the Velvet Revolution was, perhaps, one of the most remarkable illustrations of how hope can spring from the most appalling of tragedies. Authors are also aware of another birth. The birth of their story. A story which is much more important than their own survival.
Under communism Iron Curtain was a sacred and mysterious space, a boundary not to be crossed. Transgression of this boundary was the act of a criminal and a heroic nature. Iron Curtain was the ultimate line between fragile me and the rest of the wonderful world because like nothing else the curtain embodied liberating ideas of a particular time and place.

· Welcome ArmadilloCon and Double Dragon Publishing Visitors! [eWisdom ]
· Three men with courage make a majority [eWisdom]
· I particularly relish the opportunity to share this review [WomenOnWriting]]
· As a taut wire cuts through cheese [Rushdie: YaleReview]

Author of His Own Destiny Hardworking Authors

A lot of writers prefer to remain above the actual business of selling books. Christopher Paolini is not numbered among those. In fact, the young author has gone to great personal lengths to get his book into the hands of as many people as possible.
· Paolini [CS Monitor]

Author of His Own Destiny

Literature Hardworking Authors

A lot of writers prefer to remain above the actual business of selling books. Christopher Paolini is not numbered among those. In fact, the young author has gone to great personal lengths to get his book into the hands of as many people as possible.
· Paolini [CS Monitor]

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
--President Eisenhower

Ballots Questions to Ask Political Candidates

No news organization should fail to fully investigate all political candidates who will appear on the ballot in that news organization's coverage area.
· Bullet [RobertNiles ]

Writers Sense of the City

The BBC is asking novelists who have a profound understanding of the ; city they live in to reflect on the fiction it has produced and the various works of literature set there.
· Spirited Views [BBC ]

This is the kind of review all writers dream of. I am very lucky. I come from a large family stacked with women, consisting of four sisters and twelve aunties, who taught me how to survive in a totalitarian made world. Two of my aunties actually chose to live in exile rather than face communism. So I hope that one day I might share their extraordinary journeys on the road less traveled in more details with people who seem seperated from my Pecharcik & Imrich families by more than two degrees ...

Book Review Cold River

Jozef Imrich's escape is breathtaking and mind-boggling. It is hard to imagine this, and, yet, with the gift of a talented guide, one is left well able to not only imagine it, but to feel it. He gives a very human face to Communism. As the book progresses, the common humanity the reader feels with the writer ceases to be unsettling and becomes enlightening.
· I relish the opportunity to share this independent review by Janet Schmidt [WomenWriting]

News Media May Follow Fox From Objectivity To Partiality

The nation's most powerful media organizations share one thing: They're all objective - or at least they say they are. Though everyone who gathers and reports news has his or her personal beliefs and biases, the biggest newspapers and the network news outfits all try to play to the middle. After all, that's where you'll find most readers and viewers
· Partially mainstream [CTNow]

Blogging Stealing The Internet

Forget media mergers. A bigger threat may loom on the media landscape.
As commercial interests have increasingly dominated the Internet, Web logs have come to represent a bastion of individual expression and pure democracy for millions of bloggers.

· Dispute exposes bitter power struggle behind Web logs [News ]
· Stealing Edge [ TomPaine]
· Future [eMediaTidbits ]
· Adultery: (MCS)Means to confess sins [USAToday ]

Unexpected becomes expected First impressions count in publishing

Someone needs to have a word with Amis: Tibor Fischer
Some years ago, I fired my agent, Andrew Wylie, alias The Jackal. I want to stress this wasn't an amicable parting of the ways or a hankering on my part for fresh representation. I fired him because his agency wasn't doing enough for me.
The way British publishing works is that you go from not being published no matter how good you are, to being published no matter how bad you are.
Halfway through, Louis reached into his pocket, pulled out a railway ticket, scrawled on it and handed it to me. It was a signed authorisation to shoot him if he ever became an old bullshitter. I think I'll be sending Louis an authorisation to shoot me if I ever produce anything like Yellow Dog.

· It's like your favourite uncle being caught in a cricket ground, masturbating [Telegraph (UK)offline]

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Tikun Olam: Make the world a better place Quality Control: Build It Into Your Newsroom

Business leaders know the consequences when their products fall short of consumers’ expectations. A company’s reputation – its integrity – is based, in large part, on the quality of its product in the marketplace.
That’s why quality control is so important. Good leaders pay great attention to what’s going out the door to the public.

· Ethics of Marketplace [Poynter ]

Memoirs Confessions of a memoirist

Vivian Gornick stunned a roomful of journalists this week when she admitted she "composed" conversations and invented one scene in her memoir, "Fierce Attachments."
· Fierce Memories [Salon ]

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

The Creativity Factor

A new study by Ann Markusen and David King argues that the arts are a core piece of a local economy. Good schools, parks, recreation and housing are important, but also lively streets and ample opportunities for entertainment and artistic enrichment. It's not surprising, then, that cities with high concentrations of artists - San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul - tend to be better economic performers than cities with lower concentrations - Dallas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh.
· Nurturing clusters of artists is a sound investment for governments [The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) 08/03/03]

Monday, August 04, 2003

Somebody once wrote that there's no more seductive sentence in the English language than, I want to hear your story

Literature The Power of Editing

Editors also validate, deep-down listen, plan, trust, and -- in a myriad of other ways -- make great writing possible. Editors testify to the power to lead, shape, encourage, check, prod, teach, above all, to communicate.
· Unique marriage of civic clarity and literary grace [ ]

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Capek mixes politics and prose with the perennials

Miniature bellflowers, saxifrages, campions, speedwells, sandworts, drabas and iberises and madworts and phloxes (and dryases and erysimums and house leeks and stone crops) and lavender and cinquefoil and anemone and corn camomile and rockcress ..." And that's only the alpine rockery.
· Czex [The Prague Post]

World's 10th-friendliest city The kindness of strangers: the Golden City

It's not surprising that people who have lived under authoritarian rule -- still the case in many Third World countries -- share the trait of being willing to help, no matter how different their cultures. The desire to cast off oppression and create a better society seems to bring people everywhere closer together.
· Totalitarian systems can unite people [The Prague Post]

Literature Dedications

When Samuel Johnson wrote that "the promises of authors are like the vows of lovers", we can assume he meant to describe something transient, of the moment.
· Vows [ Guardian]

Literature Dedications

When Samuel Johnson wrote that "the promises of authors are like the vows of lovers", we can assume he meant to describe something transient, of the moment.
· [ Guardian]

Libraries Libraries are as much about losing the truth ... as about discovering it

So you thought libraries were staid, quiet places? In Library: An Unquiet History, Matthew Battles, the Harvard rare-books librarian tells the story of that peculiar institution, whose fortunes, since man first etched a symbol in stone, have been governed as much by mass uninterest and bureaucratic incompetence as by war and natural disaster. 'Libraries are as much about losing the truth ... as about discovering it,' writes Battles, pointing out that much of what has survived through the ages is owing not to public institutions but to private collectors, who were better able to weather the tides of biblioclasm - the destruction of books - that have periodically swept the world.
· A Rollicking, On-The-Edge History Of Libraries [National Post (Canada) 07/31/03 ]
· Storing e-text for centuries [Economist ]

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Multimedia mix-meister

From a tiny operation, begun in Sydney in 1976 with one borrowed tape recorder, Austrian-born Tom Misner has built the largest multimedia training empire in the world. Now worth an estimated $350m, the Byron Bay-based Misner jokingly sees his SAE Institute, with 40 campuses in 20 countries, aiming for
· Total world domination [Australian ]

Blogging Daschle Gets Trendy

When Senators start blogging, you know that the weblog trend has truly gone mainstream. South Dakota senator and Senate minority leader Tom Daschle has started to write a blog, called Travels With Tom It will feature the Democratic leader's stories about his travels and meetings with constituents.
· ArgusLeader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota]

Europe An Innovative News Blog

Eurosavant.com is a news blog written in English about news from the non-English European press. It's written by Michael Olson,
an American living in Amsterdam, who can read a dozen different languages.
He reads the press in the original language and blogs it for English speakers.

· European news site [E-Media Tidbits]
· NetNews Tracker: automatically tracks websites of interest [NetNews ]

Friday, August 01, 2003

Blogging Online News Sites Score More With Flash Than With Substance

Study by journalism student finds award-winning Web sites grab attention with bells and whistles --and not writing. Plus, a rundown of upcoming competitions.
· Style [OJR ]